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 Skye Sweetnam Interview 1

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Interview by MusicPhase.com
Interviewed by Steve Taddei, Friday September 24th 2004
transcribed by Jen.

"..." or "[...]" means I've cut irrelevant parts out or I couldn't figure out what was said
"(?) means I'm guessing so check the audio if you want to figure it out yourself

Skye: Hi.

MP: Hey, how are you doing?

Skye: Good.

MP: ...The first thing I was wondering well actually I saw your appearance on Radio Free Roscoe -

Skye: Ok.

MP: - It's kind of one of my guilty little pleasures -

Skye: [laughs]

MP: - but is that something you just did as a one time thing or do you consider yourself as someone who might end up going into acting as well?

Skye: Um, well it kind of came around rather quickly, just because I got to sing the theme song and I'm kind of in that Radio Free Roscoe world, and they just asked me if I'd like to kind of guest star. So, that came really kind of quick, but acting is something I've done all my life. I did a lot of musical theatre growing up - my kind of guilty pleasure -

MP: [laughs]

Skye: - and then I went to high school for drama in another school. So it's been a part of my life, and it's kind of cool to finally get to that experience of finally doing something professional in acting.

But right now singing is definitely my focus, even though film making and making my own dvds are ongoing projects for me. I think acting is something that I want to make sure that, if I do make that transition, I want to make sure that it's really dramatic(?), and put my energy into acting, you know, fully instead of trying to balance a whole lot things at once - 'cause I really don't want to become one of those singer-trying-to-be-actor-but-didn't-really-work kind of thing.

MP: Yeah

Skye: I want to make sure that the roles that I pick are ones that I'm in love with and that I can really put my heart in towards it.

MP: Right, that makes sense enough. So on top of you don't want to become that kind of person that just ends up doing acting and doing that, are you also afraid of becoming that girl-rocker cliche or do you think you've avoided that?

Skye: Um, I think that nowadays a lot of people tend to put a lot of labels on things and I think I kind of sum that up in my song - Hypocrite, on my album. And it's just kind of a lot of different labels I think people and the media are going to try to put on me just because of my age and my bio[graphy] and, you know, that fact that I'm a young girl from Canada and that kind of thing. And the main message of the song is that no matter what people are going to say, I'm going to do what I want to no matter what.

And I think people, once they really get to know me and get to know my music and are willing to stick around a little more and instead of looking at what's on the surface and assuming a lot of the things that a lot people do assume when a young girl comes out with a kind of pop/rock album, and they start looking at what I'm really talking about and what I really have to say, I think people will really get me more and more - and that's kind of an ongoing battle.

You know, I have so many things working against me, the fact that I'm female - a girl - coming from Canada, I mean I have a lot to prove. And in some respects, I think that it's totally unfair and that it's not cool that guys can go out and form a band and wear same things and look exactly the same and play all the same music and everybody that's totally cool but when a girl comes out, they all want to compare her and do that stuff too.

But another part of me goes - nup, you know, I don't really need to impress anybody as long as I'm having fun and I'm doing what I love and then I have nothing to worry about. So, I'm totally confident that in the future, people are really going to understand where I'm coming from and it's kind of crazy because these songs that I wrote are basically the first group of songs that I've ever written in my life and they're demo versions of those songs - they're not even re-recorded. So, hence the name - Noise From The Basement, so it really is -

MP: It's really who you are, yeah...Does being Canadian influence your music at all?

SKye: Um, I think it does. I always - even though it may not be the same for every single Canadian out there, I definitely feel that because I haven't been exposed to a lot the media and you know I didn't have internet growing up or a lot of channels on my TV a lot, I think kind of it forced me to look inside myself and find my own creativity and my own way of entertaining myself. And there's definitely something TV says because I think there's a lot of rock and roll going on in Canada and I think there's a lot of cool bands coming out of Canada and that kind of motivates me to do more and represent the T-dot - Toronto [laughs]

MP: A lot of artists these days have their own little political agenda, are you either way - on namely the United Sates, are you a Bush-hater or is there anything like that?

Skye: You know being sixteen, and not even watching the news, like religiously or anything -

MP: Right.

Skye: - a part of me feels like I'm really not entitled to make conclusions when I'm not fully educated, but, and especially since being, you know, [someone] 'bigger' in this world that people will listen to, I think I want to make sure that if I'm going to say something, I'm going to make sure I'm totally behind what I have to say. So, as for now I'm not really taking a stand.

MP: Well that's a damn good response though, with everybody just throwing out opinions right and left.

Skye: Yeah

MP: This is a kind of random one, but do you watch Family Guy?

Skye: Um my band is in love with that show and I've seen a couple of episode though, but it's hard to keep religiously watching TV, when you never have a TV around when you need to watch it though

MP: It is on DVD, it's something you should look into -

Skye: Ok [laughs]

MP: -...What is your favourite cartoon show?

Skye: Um, I don't know...I mean -

MP: You know, just tell me

Skye: [laughs] Um...well I remember being a kid and my watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles a lot. I liked that when I was a kid. I have a little crush on Spongebob.

MP: Oh yeah? It seems like everybody does these days.

Skye: Yeah, he's cute.

MP: I hate to ask a question like this, but what's your favourite song to write and why?

Skye: Um, that is definitely a hard one, because writing is a [...] process for me and there's always constantly times where, you know every latest song I think that I write is always think is my favourite just because it's the latest.

And the writing process for me, I think, being kind of young and experimenting and really not knowing exactly what I'm going after when I start writing a new song, I think it's kind of fun and spontaneous. And I write about a lot of totally different things, and I write in a lot of different ways and every single time I try to make it different and unique to how I'm feeling about the song, how I'm feeling about the music, how I'm feeling about what I want to say.

And for me it's hard to pick a favourite, there have been favourite songs that I go the writing process has been really hard because I'm trying to make it a really good song, and I'm rewriting lyrics like crazy making sure that I'm happy with what I have to say and then listening back and it's a lot more fun to listen back to the song once it's finished than actually writing sometimes. Sometimes a song comes really quick and easy and it's really fast and even though sometimes I think - maybe I didn't think about that line too much, maybe i just spit it out, off the top of my head, I think it's even more cool when they're spontaneous and really capturing what you're feeling in a moment - rather than the perfected version of what you think you were feeling. So, I don't know - it's a hard question.

MP: [laughs] So you have no answer?

Skye: [laughs] No answer - long complicated(?) answer but no answer.

MP: At least an explanation. What bands do you listen to, when you're just chilling?

Skye: Um I listen to everything. I'm a big fan of music in general. I listen to everything from Pantera to P to Norah Jones to Stuart Apple to the Us to Coldplay to the Hives to I mean -

MP: So right across the board

Skye: - I just love music in general.

MP: Right.

Skye: I love all different kinds of music, you know, my parents will listen to one kind of thing and then I get the influence from my friend who listens to all the popular stuff and then my band who listen to a lot of old school rock and roll and my producer who listens to Frank Zappa and German opera. So I'm influenced from all over the place and I think it's cool to be like that and have no boundaries..and loving music because it's there to listen to.

MP: There's not any rap in that mix is there?

Skye: A little bit here and there. We were listening to - me and my guitar player - were listening to...I don't even know what it's called.

MP: So do you play with the same band all the time then?

Skye: Yep.

MP: Ok.

Skye: They're with me on tour. We've known each other for a while so they're really cool and they're all from Hamilton

MP: Ok.

Skye: A town here.

MP: Yeah...Everything these days, it's very image oriented, and...do you consider your mole - is that like a trademark thing? ...Like Enrique Iglasias, he just had his removed - do you consider this as a plus or a minus to you? I mean I'm all for being happy with who you are of course.

Skye: Right. Um.. [laughs] Well that's funny because I remember being a kid and my mum was telling me, 'Oh no, it's like Cindy Crawford' and then my grandma also has one in the same place. I dont know, it's not like I was thinking about it being my trademark or whatever it is. I mean I dont think I'll get it removed or anything. But, I dont know - it's part of me, I'm used to it.

MP: No, that's good...I don't know what to ask...have you got anything interesting to say? [laughs]

Skye: [laughs] Um, what do you want to know?

MP: Oh I don't know what to say, this is only the second interview I've ever done so -

Skye: Really?

MP: Yeah

Skye: Awww, that's so cute

MP: [laughs]...You want to plug your album or something?

Skye: Um Noise From The Basement, my album, basically it's called that because I wrote it in my friends basement and we wrote it before we got signed so basically no corporate - nobody was there to influence what we did and in some ways I think that's totally cool, but in other ways it's like I haven't been writing songs for 15 years, I don't really know exactly where my musical self is exactly. You know I haven't really found, like, a comfy place yet,

I guess, in when I'm writing and that kind of thing and I'm still kind of experimenting and having fun. And basically that's what that album is because I wasn't really going after - you know these songs, I wasn't writing because I was thinking they were going to be on my album I was writing them just because I was having fun and expressing myself and learning how to write songs.

It was kind of crazy for me to think that those words that I kind of put together and those melody lines are all being released around the world and for me it's such a crazy cool experience and it just kind of shows that a lot of kids out there, given the opportunity can do really cool things. I think this world needs a lot more, you know, chick rocker girls out there saying what they need to say, and making noise, making it loud so everyone can hear them and I do encourage them to do something productive.

And there's been lots of instances where there's been negative experiences, the things that tick me off, and I just kind of translate that into music and I think its a really good release. And it's helped me so much in my life just having music there and even if I'm not going to become a huge artist or even if I'm writing songs in my basement still for the rest of my life, since I'm really in love with music - it's never going to go away and I'm never going to lose that ability to make music and play guitar and sing and that's always going to be there for me.

For me, it's such a comforting feeling and I think if a lot of kids nowadays had that one thing that they are totally into, that can make them happy no matter what, I think that a lot of the time that there'd be a lot of instances or trouble in your life that would be totally put aside, just because you have that one love in your life - for me that's music so I think that's great and yeah there's been a lot of really cool experiences in my life. I'm very lucky. Going on the Britney tour was a crazy experience. I just recently have been in Japan, I'm going there for another conference -

MP: Oh really? How did that go over?

Skye: I really love Japan, it's my favourite place in the world -

MP: Had you been there before?

Skye: Pardon?

MP: Had you been to Japan before this tour?

Skye: Yeah, I've been there twice and I'm going back for my third time -

MP: Oh wow.

Skye: In a couple of weeks. So, I'm really excited about that. The people over there, they pay so much attention to me...they really understand where I'm coming from, which is something that is hard to find - people that really get me. And I think it's hard to come to terms with that because I don't really know who they are and it's kind of hard for people to understand who I am - just by my music.

That's what I'm trying to do, i give them a good representation of who I am, just by listening to my album and I think that the people who understand that and can see where I'm coming from - that really makes me just so over the top excited. Just like wow, I mean I really have been totally lucky...to have people -

MP: Well I have heard the Japanese people are very into the music and have a great deal of respect for the musicians.

Skye: Oh totally. And I love it over there 'cause they just keep giving you presents constantly.

MP: Oh Really?

Skye: Oh yeah - you'll meet somebody for the first time and they'll just give you a present and -

MP: Wow. Like you have to be famous? Can I go there and get free stuff from Japan? Or is it 'cause you're famous. Skye: [laughs] It's just because I get with somebody from - I don't know - any kind of business or any kind of work or specialty, since I'm involved with the people - like the media people - like when I [...] they'd always give me a present - it was crazy. And they hired a personal fanner for me one day, I was like...this is crazy

MP: Oh wow.

Skye: 'Cause I had to do this for a magazine I had to take pictures in this winter stuff so they had like this fan guy and I would always tease him 'cause he would try to run back to the van to get me some water and I'd always feel that that was totally mean of me to just let him do that, so I tried to beat him there and get my own water

MP: [laughs]

Skye: Full out - like run down the street so I could get there first

MP: Well if you beat him there, he'd probably get fired or something for not doing his job

Skye: [laughs]

MP: 'You didn't get her water, you're fired!'

Skye: [laughs] They're very proud of what they do, they don't even like receiving tips

MP: Oh really? -

Skye: Yeah

MP: - So you probably got a poor Japanese man fired

Skye: [laughs] No I...if it comes down to that I'll make sure I put in a good word.

MP: [laughs] Ok, that's good. Alright thanks...That was awesome to talk to you, definitely -

Skye: Ok, cool.

MP: You're an entertaining person entertaining. So anyways, I'll see you later then. Good luck with your album and everything.

Skye: Alright, thank you.

MP: Bye.

Skye: Bye.

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